Saturday, February 23, 2013
This has been an interesting week in spite of the fact that there is not much to report. The CIVAC meeting was uneventful, but at least we were able to nail down the final details of the 24 HORAS. As I mentioned before, all the events will occupy a 48-hour time frame, but, since the name has been used several times before, the decision was made to keep the name the same.
Tuesday evening we made our way to El Teatro Principal to see the Spanish version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It is town for a month and tickets are hard to get. We ended up sitting on the aisle in the 13th row and we had an excellent view of the stage. It was a very enjoyable experience. The voices were pitch perfect, the dancing was very energetic and the costumes and the lighting added to the overall favorable impression. The performance ended at 10:45 and a light dinner was in order.
After considering the alternatives we opted for The Ginger Loft. When we entered there was a couple at one of the tables and someone sitting at the bar. Within the space of fifteen minutes we had the place to ourselves. We ordered the ceviche and the wonton and along with a beer and a glass of wine it turned out to be the perfect late night snack. We had an interesting conversation with Mike and Santi about the reluctance of Valencian chefs and restaurateurs to replicate the authentic tastes of Asian cuisine. They are more willing to dumb down the taste for the Spanish palate. On the one hand it seems to make logical sense. You want to appeal to the Spanish palate especially if you own a restaurant. However, if one were to open a small Thai restaurant, would it not be possible to fill it with people who know the authentic tastes of the cuisine and want to experience them? You are drawing from a pool of a million inhabitants and a constant flow of foreign visitors.
Wednesday was a cold and windy day so we opted to eat at home and spend most of the day indoors. I received a call from Dani DaOrtiz – as usual he was on his way to an airport – alerting me to the fact that he was going to send me his next column for Genii Magazine. As it turned out, the column was overdue and there was a request that I complete the translation as soon as I possibly could. The article was seven pages long and fairly technical so I knew that it was going to take me a while to get it done. I began the process on Wednesday and was not finished until Friday when I sent it off to the publisher a day ahead of when I had initially promised it.
Thursday was when I did the bulk of the translation and to reward myself we went to Carosel for lunch. The restaurant never disappoints. It is always a treat for the eye, the nose and the palate. Thursday’s appetizers were a salmorejo (the Andalusian version of gazpacho that is denser than gazpacho) adorned with a langoustine and a chunk of eggplant, una falsa croqueta de mejillones, which was essentially a deconstructed croqueta that featured two plump and juicy mussels, rollitos de salmón con salsa de cacahuates (essentially a smoked salmon taco with a peanut sauce), and crujientes de íberico con salsa de plátano y de curry (breaded and fried thin strips of pork with a banana and curry dipping sauce). We had a paella negra con calamares as our main dish. This paella is made with squid ink and in other restaurants has a tendency to be overly salty. That does not happen here.
We went out for lunch on Friday, also. We had not been to A Nou in a while and so we headed to Calle Borrull for lunch with Mario, Javi and Teresa. Our appetizers yesterday were a flan de queso, lomo asado con setas and alcachofas con atún. We had an arroz a banda as our main dish and the six shrimp that crowned the dish were exquisite. After dessert and coffee we made our way to La Petxina so that Susan could sign up for next month’s Pilates class. Juanjo came by last night for his conversation lesson with Susan and after that we watched “Hitchcock” courtesy of Apple TV. We did not get to bed until after midnight, but since there was no need to get up early this morning, it was no big deal.